Hunter Armstrong adds to haul on final day of swim worlds

DOHA, Qatar -- American swimmer Hunter Armstrong helped himself to two more medals on the closing day of the World Aquatics Championships on Sunday, winning the men's 4x100 medley relay with the United States team after taking the silver in the men's 50 backstroke.

Armstrong, who swam the first leg, praised his teammates Nic Fink, Zach Harting and Matt King after the U.S. won in 3 minutes, 29.80 seconds. The Netherlands took silver in 3:31.23 with Italy in bronze (3:31.59).

"We start strong and we finish stronger," Armstrong said. "We take pride in our medley relay."

The Ohio native won golds earlier in the championships in the mixed 4x100 medley relay and men's 100 backstroke.

Lewis Clareburt of New Zealand had a special victory celebration lined up for the men's 400 medley.

After winning in a time of 4:09.72, the 24-year-old Clareburt did a brief imitation of the New Zealand rugby team's Haka in the pool, opening his eyes wide and sticking out his tongue as he pushed an imaginary spear-like weapon above the water at the Aspire Dome.

British swimmer Freya Colbert won the women's 400 medley in 4:37.14, ahead of Israeli swimmer Anastasia Gorbenko, who clocked 4:37.36 and was jeered by the crowd when she spoke. Italy's Sara Franceschi was third in 4:37.86.

Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte won the women's 50 breaststroke title for the third straight time. She was pushed hard by China's Tang Qianting -- the women's 100 breaststroke winner -- who made a great start before Meilutyte caught her at the end. Benedetta Pilato of Italy took the bronze medal.

Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom also defended her title, and just missed out on beating her own world record of 23.61, when she won the women's 50 free in 23.69. American Kate Douglass finished second in 23.91 and Poland's Katarzyna Wasick was third in 23.95.

Daniel Wiffen of Ireland dominated the men's 1,500 freestyle, setting a personal-best time of 14:34.07 and winning by a massive 10.54 seconds.

"Thank you everyone for the support," he told the crowd. "I was really dying in the middle."

Germany's Florian Wellbrock edged out Frenchman David Aubry for the silver medal.

Isaac Cooper of Australia won the men's 50 backstroke in 24.13. He started strongly and held off the defending champion and world-record holder Armstrong by .20 seconds. Poland's Ksawery Masiuk was third.

"I've been waiting a very long time to stand on a long-course podium," the 20-year-old Cooper said. "I was thinking back to when I was a kid and I used to do one backstroke a year and rip out a PB [personal best]."

Australia won the women's 4x100 medley relay in 3:55.98, ahead of Sweden (3:56.35) and Canada (3:56.43).

China topped the table on the gold-medal count. It had 33 medals overall -- including 23 golds -- while the U.S. was second with nine golds among an overhaul haul of 23. Australia was third overall with 24 medals but fewer golds (seven).

It is the first time in history that a long-course world championships has been held in the same year as an Olympics. The Paris Games take place July 26-Aug. 11.